David West says he’ll be ready to go in October

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David West rolled the dice.

He was maybe the best free agent power forward on the market, a fantastic pick-and-pop partner for an elite point guard. The kind of guy that a lot of teams with cap room — the Pacers, the Nets — could use. A guy the Hornets want back… more like need back if they plan to keep Chris Paul next summer.

He’s also a guy who blew out his ACL. That will give teams pause when handing out big contracts. So he took a big risk opting out of the final year of his deal and testing the market.

The good news is West told David Aldridge of NBA.com he’ll be ready to go come October, when training camps would start. If there are October camps this year.

“The way I’m looking at it, by October, I should be fully healthy,” West said Monday morning. “When I go see Dr. (David) Altchek in October, he should be giving me clearance to go out there and do my thing.”

As Aldridge notes, the rehab West is doing five days a week and that trip to Dr. Altchek are now paid by West out of his own pocket — his insurance from the league is locked out, too.

If the lockout does cost games, it could benefit West in terms of proving he is healthy to prospective teams. What kind of prospective teams? West wiped out a $7.5 million option year on his deal, so he expects to get paid, but he also sounds like a veteran who is starting to think legacy and rings more than bank account.

“I talked to my agent, and my whole thing is, I just want to see what’s out there,” West said. “I’m not saying New Orleans isn’t a possibility. I want to see what’s out there. And I want an opportunity to win. I’ll be 31 at the end of the summer and no matter how great I feel physically and mentally, every year you don’t win is a wasted year, a blown year, an opportunity you’ll never get back. I don’t want any more of those years. I’ve played eight years. And I want the next three or four years to be different.”

He will be a prime free agent. Whenever we get around to that.

PBT Extra: Disciplined Celtics highlight bad habits of Milwaukee Bucks

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Giannis Antetokounmpo has been every bit the top five NBA player in the postseason — 32.5 points per game on 63.2 percent shooting, plus with 11 rebounds and 7.5 assists per game.

Yet the Bucks are down 0-2 to Boston.

The Celtics have had a strong series from Al Horford and Terry Rozier, but the real difference is in the discipline this team has shown all season — Boston knows who it is. Clearly, Milwaukee does not. They turn the ball over too much and make too many mistakes.

I get into all of that in this PBT Extra, and I wonder if that’s something the Bucks can really turn around mid-playoffs.

Ettore Messina to coach Spurs in Game 3 following death of Gregg Popovich’s wife

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Spurs coach Gregg Popovich’s wife, Erin, died yesterday.

That sad news was felt throughout the NBA, and it obviously affects San Antonio most closely. That includes for tonight’s Game 3 against the Warriors.

Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News:

Ettore Messina was a longtime head coach in Europe. The Spurs lead assistant also took over for a few regular-season games Popovich missed. So, making – rather than advising – coaching decisions won’t be a brand new challenge to Messina.

But down 2-0 to defending-champion Golden State is a tough place to make an NBA playoff debut.

On the bright side, there will be no pressure. Not only has San Antonio been outclassed the first two games of the series, focus is rightly on the Popovich family. A win would be a pleasant surprise and help Messina – who’s up for the Hornets job – in his pursuit of a head-coaching position. A loss would be quickly forgotten with more important matters at hand.

To that end, hopefully the time away allows Popovich the space he needs to grieve. That matters far more than a basketball game.

Report: Knicks to interview Kenny Smith for head-coaching job

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The Knicks are casting a wide net in their coaching search.

It’ll apparently include a familiar, though surprising, name.

ESPN:

TNT analyst Kenny Smith will interview for the New York Knicks’ head-coaching job on Friday, a source told ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith.

A quality organization, the Rockets, interviewed Smith (in 2016, before hiring Mike D’Antoni). So, this isn’t proof of the Knicks’ oddball thinking. (There are plenty of better examples, if you wish).

Steve Kerr opened the door for former players to go straight from TV to being an NBA head coach without having any coaching experience. He’s been a smash hit with the Warriors.

But Kerr was also the Suns’ general manager before Golden State hired him. Smith has no front-office experience.

So, it’s tough to judge Smith, whose role on television is more to entertain than inform (though he does both). He’ll have to really wow in his interview to get the job.

But at least he has that opportunity.

Pacers coach Nate McMillan slips and falls while arguing call (video)

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Nate McMillan slipped up in his handling of Victor Oladipo‘s early fouls during the Pacers’ Game 2 loss to the Cavaliers last night.

Then, the Indiana coach literally slipped while arguing that LeBron James should have been called for offensively fouling Lance Stephenson.